Gov. Gavin Newsom signed into law a controversial new bill that loosens penalties and requirements for individuals added to the state’s sex offender registry.
Proving again he‘s a true champion for the LGBTQ community — even when it’s hard — Gov Newsom signed #SB145, ending discrimination against LGBTQ young people on CA’s sex offender registry.
Thank you for seeing through the QAnon lies about this equality legislation. My statement: pic.twitter.com/MQlIIDxfnj
— Senator Scott Wiener (@Scott_Wiener) September 12, 2020
Newsom signed the bill, passed last week by the Democratic-controlled state legislature, without comment on Friday.
Under the new law, judges can decide not to place a man on the sex offender registry if he had sexual intercourse with someone 14 to 17 years old and was not more than 10 years older than the other person.
A similar exception existed before, but only applied to heterosexual intercourse, which was discriminatory against gay men, according to the bill’s proponents.
“This eliminates discrimination against LGBTQ youth in our criminal justice system,” the bill’s sponsor, San Francisco Democratic state Rep. Scott Wiener, said in a statement.
Critics of the law pointed out that sex between a teenager and someone 10 years older is never consensual, and should always warrant being placed on the sex offender registry.
“I cannot in my mind as a mother understand how sex between a 24-year-old and a 14-year-old could ever be consensual, how it could ever not be a registrable offense,” Democratic Assemblywoman Lorena Gonzalez said when the bill was being debated in the legislature.
“We should never give up on this idea that children should be in no way subject to a predator,” she said.
Many Californians on both sides of the aisle blasted Newsom for condoning behavior that anyone would consider “predatory.”
“An adult who commits ANY sex act on a minor 10 years younger must be registered a sex offender. Law must be changed,” said San Diego Mayor Kevin Faulconer.
As a parent I’m appalled that last night our governor signed a law maintaining a 24-year-old can have sex with a 14-year-old and it not be considered predatory.
An adult who commits ANY sex act on a minor 10 years younger must be registered a sex offender. Law must be changed.
— Kevin Faulconer (@Kevin_Faulconer) September 12, 2020